The technology behind the Retina Display isn’t really new, although it may seem like it is. To most of us it is a novelty, but in reality the U.S. Military has used it to good advantage for its flight simulators for years in order to aid in training its pilots. Even good old IBM has used it for some of its more elite supercomputing systems.
Apple’s Retina Display, however, changed the mobile phone industry forever. It did so by using a distinctive combination of three features, never tried before. High resolution and high pixel density and special liquid-crystal display technology which greatly enhanced both its on and off-axis image quality.
How Does the Retina Display Work?
One of the Retina Display’s most notable innovations is its high resolution of 960 pixels wide by 640 pixels tall on a small screen. This screen has the capability to display over one-quarter of the full resolution of a 108op HDTV signal.
Because it measures only 3.5 inches diagonally, the screen’s resolution gives it a pixel density of 326 dots per square inch. With the resolution of 300 pip generally thought to be the threshold point past which the human eye can no longer detect the presence of pixels, this high density makes its pixel structure essentially invisible.
And last but not least, Apple uses the in-plane switching technology present in its Cinema Display monitors in the Retina screen. The result of this is that IPS displays are more viewable from off axis — from an angle instead of head-on — which makes for a more natural-looking picture even when not held in a perfect position. .
Other High-Resolution Displays
The success of the Retina Display prompted many other phones to try and imitate it by using qHD displays with resolutions of 960 pixels wide and 540 pixels tall, very much like the Retina Display. Some of these displays are a little bigger, giving less pixel density than the Retina screen, but instead offering the readability benefit of larger size. Quite a few different technologies are in use on these screens. Some use organic-LED technology, which consumes less power than Retina yet provides the same benefits in color saturation and off-axis view.
Large Phone Displays
If you want the resolution of the Retina Display without actually using a Retina Display, the solution is to make the phone bigger. A new 5.3 inch display, which could go into a large phone has come out, however. It provides a resolution that is better than Retina Display. It’s really up to the user to determine their preference.
Unbelievable though it may seem, phones are now equipped with 3-D displays. The Retina Display is superior in most ways to the other types of 3-D displays available, but it is limited to two dimensions. That can be a drawback as 3-D screens can greatly increase the simulation of depth. With their parallax-barrier technology they do this without the viewer having to wear glasses. Just remember that the Retina Display paved the way for this technology to exist.
In fact, Apple with its Retina Display ushered in many visual advancements for the mobile world and is still going strong today. Every day their technologists are hard at work to create the next system for making mobile visuals more realistic and appealing for each new generation of mobile phones.